STRENGTH AND POWER PREDICTORS OF SPORTS SPEED

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

For many sporting activities, initial speed rather than maximal speed would be considered of greater importance to successful performance. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship between strength and power and measures of first-step quickness (5-m time), acceleration (10-m time), and maximal speed (30-m time). The maximal strength (3 repetition maximum [3RM]), power (30-kg jump squat, countermovement, and drop jumps), isokinetic strength measures (hamstring and quadriceps peak torques and ratios at 608·s-1 and 3008·s-1) and 5-m, 10-m, and 30-m sprint times of 26 part-time and full-time professional rugby league players (age 23.2 ± 3.3 years) were measured. To examine the importance of the strength and power measures on sprint performance, a correlational approach and a comparison between means of the fastest and slowest players was used. The correlations between the 3RM, drop jump, isokinetic strength measures, and the 3 measures of sport speed were nonsignificant. Correlations between the jump squat (height and relative power output) and countermovement jump height and the 3 speed measures were significant (r = −0.43 to −0.66, p < 0.05). The squat and countermovement jump heights as well as squat jump relative power output were the only variables found to be significantly greater in the fast players. It was suggested that improving the power to weight ratio as well as plyometric training involving countermovement and loaded jump-squat training may be more effective for enhancing sport speed in elite players.

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